Thursday, September 13, 2007

Are we nearly there yet?

I am sure that many of you who have children, or maybe remember your own childhood, can identify with the phrase that entitles this posting. One of my children in particular used it many times. We would often be travelling on holiday from the Midlands to Holland or France and sure enough somewhere along the way this would be said.

As children the journey isn't important, its the arrival. They don't know the significance of knowing how to get there. They can't gauge the length or time it will take. They just see the beach or camp site swimming pool in their minds and want to experience them.

As adults you realise the need to know roughly where you are going, you plan the ferries, look at maps and plan routes. You are not only interested with the destiny but the steps along the way.

I am currently writing an article and the phrase, 'milestones aren't destinations' came into my mind. As a preacher I thought there may be a sermon in this so started the meditate on it. I realise that many of us miss the milestones or in our eagerness to arrive at a destination see the milestones as our final stop.

Milestones are reminders that we are on our way, they help to chart the progress we've made. They can be resting places but they are not meant to be places where we take up residence.

They can also remind us of events along the way, maybe a glory moment or a spiritual high. Yet how many of those milestones are remembered because they are where we overcome issues, or went through suffering that produced something new in us. We like to linger around the good and forget the difficult times on the journey but they are equally important, if only to tell us not to go that way again.

We had a recent milestone event that was very painful. We were not expecting it. It was something we hadn't planned for yet it turned out to be a a time of discovering the reality of God in deep pain and despair. I don't want the pain back but I do want to remember the lesson.

Milestones also remind us that many have also journeyed the way we are going. They remind us that someone had to pioneer and discover the route we are treading. Maybe they were the first to chart the path. They're mapping of their journey meant we can travel with greater knowledge and safety.

I think as we gain experience the road we travel in some ways is less daunting. It should be that our faith in the map as we follow it grows as it proves itself to be accurate. Our faith in what we have given given for direction increases.

We can have patience with the childhood cry of, 'are we there yet?' because not that long ago it was our cry. I realised that I could comfort my children because if only in part I know the journey ahead. I could give them indication of what to expect on the journey. I also realised that God sees the whole because He has journeyed ahead of me and planned out every detail. I just need to trust the map and not be surprised if the milestones aren't always easy times on the way.

No comments: